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Federal Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment Moves Forward


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Federal Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment Moves Forward

by Doreen Brandt 365Gay.com Washington Bureau


(Washington) Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) announced Friday that the Senate Sub Committee on the Judiciary will meet on Nov. 2 to markup the so-called Marriage Protection Amendment.

Brownback, the sub committee chair, said he expects to hold a vote that day on the proposed amendment, which would ban same-sex marriage, and then send the measure on to the full committee.

Brownback said that he hoped the amendment would come to a vote in both the full Senate and House prior to the 2006 mid term elections.

"This has been and always will be about cynical politics," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.

"Political games in Washington are common, but when the lives of millions of American families are at state, these hearings are an affront to American values."

The sub committee held hearings on the proposed amendment earlier this month in a new attempt to pass the measure.

Supporters of the amendment told senators during the hearing that judges are writing their own laws and only a constitutional amendment would "preserve the sanctity of marriage".

Among those speaking in opposition to the amendment was Christopher Harris, an assistant professor of Pediatrics at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

Harris, who is a gay African-American, has a 3-year-old daughter and has been a pediatrician for almost 20 years.

Harris told Senators the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) found that there are no relevant studies of the effect of parental sexual orientation on children that show any measurable effect on the quality of parent-child relationships or the children's mental health and successful socialization.

Attempts by Republicans to pass the amendment that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman failed last year.

The measure was reintroduced in January. A House version was reintroduced in March.

"It's time for Congress to stop placating right-wing extremists and get back to helping all American families," said Solmonese in a statement on Friday.

"The American people want fairness and this amendment would not only ban marriage for same-sex couples, but it would also threaten basic protections like domestic partnerships and civil unions. While some try to cloud the issue, the amendment will not affect religious institutions' established right to decide their own rules on marriage."

©365Gay.com 2005

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